Take Charge of Your Health: Healthy Choices
HEALTHY CHOICES: TODAY IS THE DAY
MARCH 1, 2018
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
We can't always prevent the injuries or illnesses that befall us, but it is good to know we have choices we can make everyday to protect our health. The most important part of developing healthy habits is not merely gaining knowledge about what to do, but is actually doing it. We all know following through with what we know we should do is the tough part.
If you haven't done so already, the best time to focus on your personal health goals is Right NOW.
Schedule an annual visit with your primary care provider and have check-ups when things "just don’t feel right." Communicate openly about how you feel, changes you notice in both your physical and mental health, your daily routine and habits as well as your medications and supplements. Listening to your body and trusting your instincts can enable health issues to be identified and addressed early, when they are easier to control or resolve.
- Communicate openly about how you feel physically and emotionally
- Monitor your blood pressure and your comprehensive blood work including blood sugar and cholesterol levels
Make sure you are current on your immunizations and any cancer screenings. (Mammograms, Pap and HPV tests, colonoscopies, prostate exams, mole and skin checks…) And remember, it is best to get your annual flu shot early in the fall.
Visit your dentist every six months. Maintaining your teeth and your gum health is important to your overall health and well-being, especially your heart health since bacteria and plague from your mouth can affect your heart.
Have your eyes and vision checked with a comprehensive exam (including dilation) at least every two years. Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
Eat healthy and Exercise: Balanced nutrition and exercise can help prevent and even treat some conditions including heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and diabetes. Exercise is also proven to help treat depression, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. The easiest way to get some exercise is to take a walk 30 minutes a day/5 days a week.
Protect your joints: Weight training exercises help build muscle and keep your muscles and surrounding ligaments strong so that your joints will not have to do all the work. Exercises that strengthen your core (chest, back and abdomen) can help you keep your balance and prevent falls.
Protect your skin: Visiting a dermatologist annually for a skin cancer check is important to identify areas of concern early. Since skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US, limit your time in the sun and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher.
Get Proper Sleep: Lack of sleep can affect your mood, stress level, memory and ability to focus. Growing evidence shows lack of sleep can also increase your risk of infections, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you are not sleeping well or wake up often during the night, do not ignore the symptoms, set up an appointment with your physician to discuss how to improve your sleep as well as to rule out serious conditions.
Don’t smoke and limit your alcohol: Smoking is a known killer. Be aware-alcohol limits are different for men and women based upon size and metabolism. Moderation is key.
Complete your Advance Directive and Health Care Proxy documents: It’s never too early to document your wishes for medical treatment and name the person whom you trust to make decisions for you.
Remember, you are the CEO of your health – YOU have choices and You make the decisions. The earlier you take charge, the better.